SEOUL: South Korea criticised Russia’s government for “rude and ignorant” remarks today, after Moscow’s foreign ministry blamed Seoul for rising tensions on the peninsula.
So far this year, nuclear-armed North Korea has declared Seoul its “principal enemy”, closed agencies dedicated to reunification and outreach, and threatened war over “even 0.001mm” of territorial infringement.
Russia has recently formed close ties with Pyongyang, with South Korea and Washington claiming the North has shipped weapons to Moscow for use in its war with Ukraine.
Earlier this week, Moscow’s foreign ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova said the heightened tension on the Korean peninsula was “primarily due to the brazen policy of the US and its allies, including the Republic of Korea and Japan”, referring to South Korea by its official name.
She also said Seoul “doesn’t seem to realise that the US’s leading position is irrevocably becoming a thing of the past”, and that the South “may turn out to be no more than a small bargaining chip in Washington’s geopolitical games”.
Seoul’s foreign ministry slammed her comments today, calling them “rude, ignorant and biased below the level of a country’s foreign ministry spokesman”.
“These remarks ignore the obvious and objective reality of North Korea’s threatening rhetoric and continuous provocations raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula and in the region,” the ministry said in a statement sent to AFP late today.
Analysts have recently warned that North Korea could be testing cruise missiles ahead of sending them to Russia for use in Ukraine, with Washington and Seoul claiming its leader Kim Jong-un has shipped weapons to Moscow, despite UN sanctions banning any such moves.
Kim made a rare overseas trip to Russia in September to meet President Vladimir Putin, with Putin now set to pay a visit to Pyongyang in return.